With technology, comes constant, evolving change; and with the change, comes constant evolving trends. As we enter 2020, the more we analyze and pick apart social media and its growing assets, we see that specificity is almost inevitable as we start to use social media to our advantage— leveraging these tools in order to brand and market at optimal levels. Here are seven social media trends to watch out for this year.
Shifting away from likes and into ephemeral content. Meaning the focus is no longer dictated by likes but rather, the spotlight shines on quick, bite-sized content— both created and consumed in the moment. Instagram stories and IGTV are just two features (Instagram is a platform but their stories and IGTV feature on the platform) that are attracting a larger audience; as attention spans are slimming and the amount of accessible content rises we, as viewers, are faced with the decision of what to watch. These stories seem to be noticed and used more than posts that remain visible longer than 24 hours. According to TechCrunch, stories are growing 15 times more than feeds overall. With constant updates and improvements to the interface, using IG will not only be effective but imperative for all social media marketing moving forward.
Video content comes out as king once again. No matter the format, whether it’s TikTok or YouTube, there’s a consistent pattern of video content showing the most success for engaging with an audience. We have seen it rise with TikTok— with over 500 million active users, 1.5 billion app downloads, and the number one app downloaded in 2019. The meteoric rise of TikTok is fascinating especially since the platform shows no signs of stopping or even slowing down. The long-standing veteran of the two, YouTube, has always created a space for users to express themselves but; as we enter 2020, the original content will continue to win because Youtube has quite a lead when it comes to great, well-known creators. According to Cisco, by 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be video content.
The growth of private communities is rising exponentially. Building a community is becoming critical for brands and creators; as people cultivate a sense of community, that feeling of exclusivity and privacy with other fans or like minded people drives engagement making this extremely popular. For example, Facebook Groups connect people all over the world on a large scale yet still cultivate a sense of privacy and intimacy over hyper-specific topics. The growth of these private communities to make an authentic, one-on-one connection will be an opportunity for brands to nurture relationships with their consumers and build the type of connection that makes them feel comfortable enough to tell their friends.
Welcoming the world of AR and VR. In 2019, AR started increasing in popularity. We began to see social media adapting to the rise of tech— the interactive engagement with audiences and consumers, taking social media to the next level. Starting with filters for Instagram or Snapchat to games like Pokemon Go into social stores where one can test out products with a touch of a button. According to Single Grain, the AR/VR market is expected to reach a market size of $202.6 billion by 2022; meaning, this is where the money is being invested so expect rapid growth in 2020. This is the beginning of a virtual future.
Marketing through local, geo-targeting advertisements. To target local audiences or advertising via location base is becoming increasingly more common. Through hyper-focused, dynamic, and direct geo-targeting ads, these platforms use algorithms that can target a brand’s audience down to the desired community which is important because now businesses can specifically interact with the right audience for them. For either promoted posts or event alerts, these tools can broaden a local influencer or small business spectrum to target the most relevant audiences. This allows them to hone in on exactly what a consumer wants to get out of social media. spectrum to target relevant audiences in order to hone in exactly what a consumer wants to get out of social media.
Social commerce is the new e-commerce. According to Big Commerce, in 2019, 42% of 18-34-year olds use social commerce regularly and that number is expected to grow within the coming years. Alongside Instagram’s shoppable posts, Facebook is the only platform that allows e-commerce to offer a sales funnel for 1 click purchasing. No other sites do this and it makes up for most of the sales in this space. All the targeted ads that directly link to e-commerce sites – influencers play a large role in pushing younger consumers towards social commerce. This sales funnel allows interested consumers the ability to never leave the social platform to purchase an item – this move is used often and widely enjoyed because they are led on a smooth, quick journey to finalize their purchase.
User-generated content is at an all-time high. Via Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, etc., user-generated content is being encouraged and even compensated. As we move forward, we see that through hyper-focused, highly specific communities – brands and businesses are encouraging this personal one-on-one connection to seem more authentic and genuine from the seller to the influencer to the consumer such as advertisements where users submit their content, etc. This encourages the more empathetic circulation of content on social media and adopting an image of trust and transparency making this a trend that won’t go away soon.
Social media is always changing, and always will. The real question is: can you keep up?